Paddock reaction to Audi WEC exit
Following the announcement of Audi ceasing its LMP1 Hybrid effort at the end of the 2016 season, partners and rival teams reacted to the news.
Coming as a shock announcement to some, and expected news for others, the endurance racing community has expressed its thoughts on Audi leaving long distance racing to commence a new chapter of its motorsport history.
“It was with emotion that we all learned this morning about Audi’s decision to withdraw from endurance racing,” said Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. “More than a competitor, the marque with the four rings has been a real contributor in recent years to the tremendous growth of endurance racing across the world.
“We salute the work carried out by the Audi Sport and Team Joest teams who have done a remarkable job, and a particular thought goes to my friend Wolfgang Ullrich,” Fillon added.
“We understand this decision, although obviously we regret the departure of a major player in the WEC,” admitted Gérard Neveu, CEO of the FIA World Endurance Championship. “Today we spare a thought first for everyone at Audi Sport and at Team Joest. Drivers, engineers, mechanics and team members for whom this news is painful. We offer them our admiration and gratitude for their extraordinary sporting performances in the WEC since 2012.”
We extremely regret the absence of this great competitor @audisport @FIAWEC @24hoursoflemans Thanks for the great racing. 2 more to come… pic.twitter.com/4oclOjiWxJ
— Porsche LMP1 Team (@Porsche_Team) 26 October 2016
We are sorry to hear this. Thanks for the tough and sporting competition since 2012. Let’s enjoy the final two @FIAWEC races of 2016! https://t.co/W2Fees1swd
— TOYOTA WEC Team (@Toyota_Hybrid) 26 October 2016
bad news for WEC today. First thoughts for Audi sport and team Joest and Dr Ulrich. Fans and each of us are so sad… pic.twitter.com/sDjfMZdPD6
— GerardNeveuWEC (@GerardNeveuWEC) 26 October 2016
Cold, hot, dry, wet in any conditions, wonderful partnership @audisport & @Michelin_Sport. We’ll miss u in @FIAWEC pic.twitter.com/jco6xS4M8l
— Pascal Couasnon (@MiGroup_sport) 26 October 2016